Lens review

Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80 mm f/3.5-4.5

Sony Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* DT 16-80 mm f/3.5-4.5
25 August 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2007-12-05 on Optyczne.pl

When the Sony Alfa 100 reflex camera was put on the market, an announcement was made that a new lens, the Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* DT 16-80 mm f/3.5-4.5, would be produced soon and it would be a good substitute for the kit lens, prepared to cooperate with APS-C/DX sensors reflex cameras.

The new lens makes a good impression. The user gets a very versatile focal length range, covering view angles from 83.1 to 20.1 degree, so allowing landscape, journalistic and portrait photography. What’s more the lens was quite fast and rather small.

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Of course, the whole magic was in the name “Zeiss” as products with this brand name are of international renown and guarantee the highest standards when it comes to the quality of optics and performance. The problem is that only too often a well-known brand name tends to overshadow some simple truths. The best quality Zeiss lenses are very expensive and can cost around 1500 $ and here we’ve got a 5x class zoom (quite big) which costs a bit more than 700 $. There’s no getting away from it, even Zeiss can’t cheat the laws of physics so there’s no chance that a 16-80 mm model can match the best Zeiss lenses.

On the other hand noblesse oblige so the product can’t be a total failure either. Taking into account the parameters and the fact, that no other system can boast of a similar kit substitute (an Olympus 12-60 mm has been put on the marked recently), the price of a bit over 700 $ doesn’t seem an exaggeration. Practically every amateur photographer is prepared to pay that much for a good universal lens. Let’s end these digressions and proceed to the facts because, courtesy of the Fotozakupy.pl shop, we were given an opportunity to look closely at this lens.

Information about our review method can be read in our article “How do we test lenses?"

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